Local Nurses Prepare For Colombian Mission Trip

Updated: 05/26/2014 7:13 PM
Created: 05/26/2014 7:07 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- Ellendale, Minnesota and Bogota Colombia are a world apart, geographically, economically and culturally. But they might have more in common than you think.

“There is no feeling in the world like being able to give back," said Mayo Clinic Health System – Albert Lea emergency room nurse Shelli Clabaugh.

A month from now, she and fellow nurse Angie Deml will be giving back.

"We start off in Bogota and then go to various districts in Colombia," nurse Shelli Clabough explained.

It's a medical care and evangelism trip sponsored by a Wisconsin group called "Children's Vision International."

"This will be our third trip and we go to remote locations in Colombia that they feel is the highest of need," Angie Deml explained.

“We've always had medical, we've had dental, we had respiratory, wound clinic, even barbers."

“Most of these people have never had medical care, so they've got some serious illnesses, they've got diabetes, so they've got sores and wounds," Shelli Clabaugh added.

“And we are going back into a homeless village that we went into last year where we seen a very high need because they live in a garbage dump," nurse Angie Deml said.

“Many is the day we need to be done at 4, 4:30 to get out of there for safety's sake, and we're working well past dark and we're working with a flashlight," nurse Shelli Clabaugh told ABC6.

The medical team often sees a thousand people a day and still needs to turn some people away.

"Because we're going somewhere different the next day," Angie Deml said.

And for the first time this year, the 70 member children's vision team will be visiting Columbia with 3000 pair of eyeglasses *you* donated to Lion's drop boxes around the Midwest.

"A lot of these people have never had their vision checked," nurse Angie Deml explained. “That is one need we've seen very time we've been down there, people have had headaches, thy can't read, they can't even perform their occupations."

And at the end of the 12 day trip, the patients aren’t the only ones who leave feeling better.

“I think I'm a lot more conscientious, a lot more compassionate," Shelli Clabaugh told us.

“I don't take anything for granted," Angie Deml said.

“I get to give back, and I think that's what we were put on this earth to do," RN Shelli Clabaugh added.